Roon + Tidal + Hegel H590 and Mqa


Playing mqa from tidal through Roon to the h590 I don’t see the h590 indicating it is mqa. In Roon the signal path can ex. tell me it is playing an 48KHz mqa file which unfolds to 96KHz and in the signal path it seems fine

But the h590 then shows 44.1KHz(not even 48KHz as the source file) and no indication of mqa. Should Iexoect an indication of mqa and why does it show 44.1KHz for a 48KHz source file?

The version is Hegel 590 S CD which should have mqa on all inputs

Please share a screenshot of the signal path.

Ok. Here is a screenshot if the signalpath and the display of the Hegel

I should probably also mention the settings for the player. Core decoder is off and Hegel is set to decoder and renderer

According to the signal path, your core is sending a 48 kHz PCM stream to the amp with MQA signalling. It appears that Roon is not set to use the core decoder.

From what I’ve read elsewhere, for MQA support on all inputs, the serial number must include an ‘E’. However, you haven’t stated which input you are using, which is relevant to decode / render, but doesn’t explain the sample rate discrepancy. You may want to try an alternative recording to eliminate the possibility that the metadata are incorrect.

** On products produced after August 2020 and containing the letter “E”
in the serial number, the H590 supports MQA on all digital inputs
and supports DSD(DoP) on all digital inputs except optical.

@Christian_Akre1 from Hegel may also be able to offer assistance.

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I am using Roon directly to the Hegel. No input involved other than network

Maybe MQA is not supported in the roon implementation?

There is definitely some funky stuff going on in that roon implementation

Enable core decoder and setting the player to render only I get this signal path and display on the Hegel

That all seems nice and dandy, but the music in this situation is playing at half speed or maybe not half speed, but the difference between 96KHz and 88.2KHz

I trust Roon’s signal path, and everything looks correct upto the Hegel, after that I agree it looks very odd and this is now inside the Hegel. After the Hegel, Roon is simply displaying what the Hegel is reporting back.

  • Try power cycling the Hegel, it may have gotten into a bad state.
  • Does the Hegel have the latest firmware installed?

Hi Carl

Yes I am running the latest firmware from last week

I will try power cycling it

Just now it actually are playing a tidal track which shows MQA 44.1KHz. So it does work sometimes. I didn’t power cycle it yet

It is the first time I have seen it show MQA(that is why I was confused if it should show MQA with roon and tidal mqa)

So maybe it only works with mqa tracks unfolding to 44.1KHz which is also a pity

Yes. Every time I play a mqa track which should unfold to 96KHz the Hegel will just show 44.1 (without mqa)

It seems like a bug in the Hegel. MQA working for 44.1 doesn’t make that much sense (even though it is 24bit…but dynamic range of 16bit is quite enough)

The behaviour is the same after power cycling. It is also totally reproducible playing track which unfolds to MQA 44.1 is decided as MQA by the Hegel as can also be seen in the signal pat

MQA 96 not so much. The Hegel then just says 44.1

Did some more testing

unfolding to MQA 44.1 works and I see the “mqa full decoder” after the Hegel step in the signal path(as shown earlier screenshot) MQA 48K or MQA 96K doesn’t work (and I don’t see the “mqa full decoder” engaged and the Hegel will display 44.1K which seems incorrect

You need Tidal HiFi Plus, not Tidal HiFi.

Also Factory Reset your H590.

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Thanks for the suggestions. That is a nice catch with hifi+ but

I do have Tidal Hifi+ and it is working just fine on my Nad M33 right besides the h590.

I am trying to figure out which to keep. The Hegel has a little edge in dynamics to my ears, but until now I am not that happy with how it handles MQA over network.

I also experience the same problems using tidal via upnp/mconnect. So it does seem like a firmware problem unless there is some strange restriction that it can only unfold 44.1 MQA(where 44.1 is after unfold) on the network interface

I will try to factory reset the Hegel when I am home again


Factory Reset didn’t make any difference it will stil only engage it’s MQA decider with files which unfold to 24bit 44.1KHz MQA all higher sample frequencies it will just show 44.1 without engaging its MQA decoder

If possible, try using a direct USB connection from the Roon Core to the H590 (instead of network).

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I will try if I can get my Roon core close enough to my amplifier

I just tried playing 24bit/96KHz non MQA file via upnp for comparison. That is also not played well. The Hegel writes 44.1 in the display and the playback is way to slow

Maybe my Hegel model is not able to play anything other than 44.1 over the network?

I have some spare raspberry pie. Will try to one as a Roon endpoint into USB

@Christian_Akre1 Can you tell me what my HW is supposed to support. It is a Hegel 590 S CD

This H590 would play anything up to 24bit/192khz via network, MQA will be decoded automatically when present in the stream, that is a mandatory feature which can’t be changed or bypassed. What you see in the display would be the signal received by the amp, so I this is likely a problem with the Roon setup.

A normal signal path and corresponding display shown below: